Mastering Lighting | Ansel Masterclass

ShadowPlay, G-SYNC, DSR, PhysX related questions
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#17484 by Cinematic Captures
09-04-2017 13:54
The Importance of Lighting

The importance of good lighting is often overlooked. Most people don’t even consider lighting when taking the shot. In this article, I will show you the difference between good lighting and bad lighting, and how it heavily changes your images. Along with showing some examples of different lighting styles.

Paragon – Top: Amateur Lighting | Bottom: Professional Lighting

Position of the Sun

When taking photos in Ansel, you need to pay close attention to where the sun is positioned. When taking photos of characters, it’s important that you shoot away from the sun. When shooting towards the sun, the camera/Ansel tries to expose for the brightest area, which is the background since that’s where the light is coming from. It ends up slightly overexposing the background and underexposing the foreground. Resulting in a terribly lit character with a bright background. It also leaves the background with a white tint and you lose the nice blue sky gradient. Instead, face your character towards the sun and your camera away from the sun. This will light up the character’s face, showing all the details that were previously hidden and creating that blue-sky gradient in the background. The image will automatically look more professional if you get the lighting right.

Ghost Recon Wildlands – Left: Character facing away from the sun | Right: Character facing the sun

Watch out for Shadows

Be careful not to take your photos with your subject standing in a shadow. It leads to the same problems as having your characters back to the sun. However, if you can find a shadow with a bit of light in it, such as a shadow from a tree with the light shining through the leaves, try position your character in the light. This will help separate your subject from the background and result in a much cleaner looking image, like the photo seen below.

For Honor- Left: Standing in the shadow | Right: Standing in the light with the shadow behind the character

Flat Lighting

Flat lighting is another thing you want to stay away from. Even though the character is fully lit, the image loses its dynamic feel. Without some contrast in the lighting, it leaves the images feeling boring and dull.

Mass Effect Andromeda – Flat Lighting


Although you don’t want your shadows to be too harsh, having contrast in the lighting drastically improves the photo and makes it look less amateur. It adds life to the photo and adds a sense of 3D depth to the 2D image. When planning your photo, try looking around for the best lighting conditions possible, to allow for contrast, rather than even flat lighting.

For Honor – Contrasted Lighting

After reading this, you now have a better understanding of lighting and what to look out for when taking your photos. Once you have mastered lighting, your images will be on their way to looking much more professional. In a future article, I’ll show you how shooting in RAW can help you tweak your lighting if you can’t get it perfect whilst taking the shot.

If you want to have a look at any of my work, check out my signature below for links to all my social media. And if you take any awesome photos with Ansel that you want to share, tag me on twitter or leave them in the comments, I’d love to see them!
#17574 by StealtH1S1K
20-04-2017 12:55
Brilliant post
and I agree that lighting is one of the most important issues when creating your shots
however I have to say to never underestimate the power of 
overexposure in the artistic choices. It can be a bad thing while it works for some cases.


I Just missed the lightning so it became something else.
Titled it "A Ghost Alone" the sense of isolation as he walks from the village.